Looking at Alex Mish’s sleek, glossy locks, you’d never know she suffered from a hair issue: breakage. “I recently did ombre [color] to my hair, and it caused breakage—you’re lightening the bottom, which is already the most damaged part of the hair,” says Mish, a stylist at the Maria Livesay Salon in Old Greenwich, CT. But as a pro, she knows the secrets to nursing fried locks! Here, she reveals the styling tricks and products that she uses to nourish and hydrate her hair:
- “I get regular trims. My hair is collar bone length, and I cut about ¼ inch off every four weeks, which prevents my split ends from traveling farther up the hair shaft.”
- “I use a restorative shampoo. To keep my hair healthy-looking, I use Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy Extreme Restoration Shampoo. It is formulated with lipids and ceramides, to add moisture and keep hair strong.”
- “I apply a hair mask. After I shampoo, I use a hydrating hair mask instead of a regular conditioner to nourish and help my damaged hair. I recommend Shu Uemura Ultimate Remedy Extreme Restoration Treatment. I apply a quarter-size amount, massage it into my hair, and leave it on for five to 10 minutes, then rinse.”
- “I cut down on drying time. Heat tools can also damage hair. I let my hair dry about half-way before applying a blow-dry cream (The cream won’t fully absorb into soaking wet hair.) The cream can help protect my hair from heat and creates a smooth, defined style. I like Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Oil-in-Cream, formulated with camellia oil. I apply anywhere from a dime to quarter size amount of product, starting at my ends and working my way up to the roots. I rough-dry my hair (meaning I comb through it with my fingers instead of a brush while I blow-dry) until it’s 85 percent dry. Hair is most fragile when it’s wet, and brushing can contribute to breakage. Then I continue to blow dry, styling with a round brush, until it’s dry."
- “When I’m just brushing my hair—not styling it—I use a big, soft paddle brush. It helps to exfoliate my scalp, and it also transfers the oils from my scalp to my ends, which is the best for dry ends. I use this type of brush to ‘comb’ hair out my hair when it’s wet too.”
- “I never use hair elastics. They can break hair, so I pull my hair back with jaw clips or bobby pins instead, which are gentler.”
About the Author:Lesley Rotchford is a freelance writer and editor who has been covering beauty, health, fitness, and entertainment for 18 years. She was an executive editor at Women’s Health and prior to that held editorial positions at Self, Cosmopolitan and Allure. Her work has appeared in Women’s Health, Self, Health, Shape, Allure, Cosmopolitan, In Style, Redbook, Seventeen, Fit Pregnancy and Baby, and other magazines. She lives in New Canaan, CT, with her husband and three sons.
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